Women in Innovation: Leading Yale Women in Social & Healthcare Startups


Mon, March 3 - 11:30am - 1:30pm


Winslow Auditorium, Yale School of Public Health, 60 College St., New Haven


Women in Innovation: Leading Yale Women in Social & Healthcare Startups

 barbara bush jennifer staple-clark laura niklason georgia keohane


Barbara Bush, CEO and cofounder of Global Health Corps

Jennifer Staple-Clark, Founder and CEO of Unite for Sight

Laura Niklason, Founder and Chief Scientist of Humacyte

Moderator: Georgia Levenson Keohane, Fellow, Roosevelt Institute

WHEN: Mon., March 3, 11:30-12 (lunch) 12-1:30 p.m. (panel talk)

WHERE: Winslow Auditorium, Yale School of Public Health, 60 College St., New Haven

**Lunch Provided from 11:30-12 outside auditorium**




Barbara Bush is CEO and co-founder of Global Health Corps. Before joining Global Health Corps’ founding team in 2008, Barbara worked in Educational Programming at the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, where she supported design thinking programs for high school students and faculty in Louisiana, Texas, Minnesota, and New York. Previously, she worked for Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Capetown, South Africa and interned for UNICEF in Botswana. She has traveled with the UN World Food Programme, focusing on the importance of nutrition in ARV treatment. Barbara is a member of UNICEF’s Next Generation Steering Committee and is one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Shapers. She is on the Board of Directors of Covenant House International, PSI, and Friends of the Global Fight for AIDS, TB, and Malaria. She is a Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation Social Entrepreneur and a fellow of the Echoing Green Foundation, which selected Global Health Corps as one of the 14 most innovative social start-ups worldwide out of 1500 applicants. Barbara Bush graduated from Yale University with a degree in Humanities in 2004.

Dr. Niklason is a Professor at Yale University in Biomedical Engineering and Anesthesia, and also serves as Vice-Chair for Anesthesia at Yale.  She received her PhD in Biophysics from the University of Chicago in 1988, and her MD from the University of Michigan in 1991.  She completed her residency training in anesthesia and intensive care unit medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and completed post-doctoral scientific training at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  From there she went onto a faculty position at Duke University, where she remained from 1998-2005.  During that time, Dr. Niklason founded a biotechnology company (“Humacyte, Inc.”), which is working to bring engineered tissue replacements to patients.  In 2006, Niklason moved to Yale University, where she continues to teach, maintain a vigorous scientific laboratory, and works to expand novel cellular therapies.

Dr. Niklason is recognized as one of the world’s leading experts in cellular therapies and regenerative medicine.  She is a world-leader in the development of engineered blood vessels, as well as the engineering of whole implantable tissue-engineered lungs.  Dr. Niklason’s research focuses primarily on regenerative strategies for cardiovascular and lung tissues, and the impact of biomechanical and biochemical signals of tissue differentiation and development.  Niklason speaks nationally and internationally on her research, has received numerous national awards for scientific excellence, and was named one of only 19 “Innovators for the Next Century” by US News and World Report in 2001.  Niklason’s work on lung regeneration was cited as one of the top 50 most important inventions of 2010 by Time Magazine.


In 2000, Jennifer Staple-Clark, then a sophomore at Yale University, founded Unite For Sight in her dorm room. Due to Jennifer's leadership and her focus on entrepreneurial innovation, Unite For Sight is a leader in providing cost-effective care to the world's poorest people. By investing human and financial resources in the social ventures of eye clinics in developing countries, Unite For Sight has provided eye care to more than 1.7 million people living in extreme poverty, including more than 65,000 sight-restoring surgeries. Additionally, Unite For Sight's Global Health University and Global Impact Corps programs develop and nurture the next generation of global health leaders. Unite For Sight also coordinates an annual Global Health & Innovation Conference, which convenes 2,200 participants and is the world's largest global health and social entrepreneurship conference.

A visionary leader and social entrepreneur, Jennifer Staple-Clark has been featured twice in Nicholas D. Kristof's columns in The New York Times. She was also featured weekly on CNN International in 2007 and 2008. A cum laude graduate of Yale University, Jennifer frequently gives presentations and keynote addresses about social entrepreneurship, global health, and international development. Her most recent audiences have included Harvard School of Public Health, Yale Law School, Yale College, Yale School of Public Health, Duke University, Villanova University, University of Virginia, Stanford University, York University, University of Miami School of Medicine, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, Loyola Marymount University, Loyola University, Lehigh University, MIT, Northwestern University School of Medicine's American Medical Student Association Conference, Brigham Young University's Global Maternal and Child Health Conference, and American Academy of Ophthalmology's Women in Ophthalmology Leadership Institute.

Jennifer is the recipient of the 2011 John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award, presented by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and the Institute of Politics at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government to "an individual whose contributions in the realm of community service, advocacy or grassroots activism have elevated the debate or changed the landscape with respect to a public issue or issues." In 2013, she received the Praxis Award in Professional Ethics from Villanova University. Jennifer also received the American Institute of Public Service's 2009 National Jefferson Award For Public Service, which is regarded as the "Nobel Prize" for public service. In 2007, Jennifer was awarded a BRICK Award, which honors and funds change-makers who identify problems and work to change the world. She has also been featured in the book Our Time is Now: Young People Changing the World, as well as in many other publications. She is the author of journal articles and book chapters about social entrepreneurship, best practices in global health, and community eye health. Additionally, Jennifer is a member of the Yale University President's Council on International Activities. She resides in Connecticut with her husband and their son.


Georgia Levenson Keohane is a Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, where she works on a range of issues in economic policy, including poverty and inequality, employment and job growth, and social entrepreneurship and the role of firms in society.  Keohane's career has bridged the private and nonprofit sectors. A former McKinsey consultant and foundation executive, she advises a number of organizations including philanthropies, educational entities, community development agencies, and think tanks. She has taught at Yale, and is an adjunct professor in the Social Enterprise Program at Columbia Business School.  Keohane writes regularly on social and economic policy and the intersection of business and society for the Harvard Business Review, The Nation, The American Prospect, The Washington Monthly, Slate, and other publications and is the author of Social Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century: Innovation Across the Nonprofit, Private and Public Sectors (McGraw Hill 2013).  She holds a BA from Yale University, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and an MSc from London School of Economics, where she was a Fulbright Scholar.